If you happened to move in other town, city or country, most likely you may have the opportunity to come back for vacation or other reasons which could be very important for you. And for sure if you travel from Manila, you will always pass this Junction Area - The gateway to Banaue Rice Terraces and Cagayan Valley.
These are the top 5 places you should not fail to go to when you are really itching to visit Bagabag once again - the place where you grew up and molded your dreams in life. Here they are . It can be done in any order as you please.
1. Go to Church/School
Hear Sunday Mass in SJA Parish Church. Be thankful to God for giving you safe travels, blessings and good health. In here, you may be surprise to see some of your old friends, contemporaries and of course, your high school classmates that you haven't seen for such a long time. You will notice that a lot of changes made inside the church, but you will still feel the familiar atmosphere of being like you were just here before in your growing up years. And do not forget to take a peek in the nearby SJA school. the century old Bell Tower and the huge acasia trees. You might say to yourself, " Hmm. these trees witnessed my teen age years of laughters, tears and naughtiness. How I wish I'll turn back the time to year 1983".
2. Go to Cemetery
Visit your departed love ones. Light a candle, say a prayer of what you want them to hear from you. Please do not expect that someone will answer in a shallow voice " kuuumustaaa kaa naah!". If that's the case and you are used to it, maybe you have the third eye and you can talk to the dead. With that, enjoy and chat with them. If you feel like your hair rose through the roof and you leave with no option, you just have to Run as fast as you can!
3. Go to Bagabag Public Market
You used to buy your groceries and stuff here. Lots of construction changes happened already in this one and only market of Bagabag. However, you could still buy your favorite vegetables, fish and meat to the same person you used to buy before. There is greater chance that you will bumped to your classmates who may be selling stuff, driving a tricycle or just digging the sea of "ukay-ukay" used clothes. Beware, this moment could lead to a very long conversation from the last time you see each other until the present era in which you may forget to buy something for yourself. Anyhow, this will be worth of your time and something you will really cherish in your life. Sometimes the best in life happens from the least expected places.
|Bagabag Public Market|
You are now in your 40's. For sure, your parents, uncles and aunties are now in their 70's to 80's. You will somehow be lucky if your grandparents at this time are still alive and may be celebrating their 120th birthday. Good for you! You know what, this is the most opportune time for them too to see you in flesh, in one piece. And they will be very happy to serve you, your most favorite dish in the house. That could be Tinola, Pinakbet, Buridibud, Dinengdeng, Tulingan, Kare-Kare, Sinigang, Letchon, Inihaw etc. Those foods you really miss that you can actually cook at home but somehow lacks the magic ingredients that only your elders can make a spell. It's hard to explain really but when you taste and indulge into it, you feel like your soul come out of your body. It is indeed finger licking good!
Strike a conversation with them, even if you already heard their drama and stories a hundred times. Just listen and talk less. Make them talk a lot. Do not tend to manipulate the discussion. You can make them laugh and show how you really love them after all this years. For them, talking a lot is the best therapy in life. You still can't understand for now but wait till you reach 70. The most important is, you visited them and they are very grateful about that. You may never know if this year will be the last time you will see them talking. So, go and visit your elders!
5. Go to SJA Alumni Homecoming or Get Together Event
This is the place you feel like you already came from a long journey of this game called life. You will be amazed to see each other appearance. You will see those gentlemen sporting their beer bellies with hair style like the Pope, and the ladies with a sponge bob figures complete with eye shadow. But you will notice that the familiar voices are still there - "Isu latta Daydi Met". The mannerisms are still there and you will still call him/her the same teasing name e.g. pabling, pakoy, hapon, intsik, negra, like before.
There will be no dull moment and you will never ran out of stories to tell. You can dance all day to your favorite dance craze music of the 80's and also sing out loud to your love songs in karaoke. You may have still games organized and for sure that you will really enjoy a lot. This celebration happens only at least every 5 years, or sometimes on rare occasions that an invitation is put in place. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, if you heard or informed about this reunion. Do not think twice and seize the day for this very rare celebration. Come and celebrate with us my friend!
I know you have still other places in mind you may want to visit. Yes, you can include that in here. The important thing is, you dare to come back from a far and see for yourself again your humble beginnings. For all these years, you may have visited most of the beautiful places in the world right now. You may be living or working in other cities. You have migrated to other countries for good. Perhaps, you just do not have the time to go back to Bagabag because you are now based in Bambang?
Looking back to what we learned from Grade School and most often written in the corners of our classrooms. " Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan."
|SJA Alumni Homecoming|